"A poem is never finished, only abandoned," wrote Paul Valéry, a reflection on a marriage that implodes. Set in New York City in the 1990s, art, addiction and family dysfunction culminate when Katharine, a film editor, ends her decade long affair with Naomi, a lesbian poet. After years of emotional distance, Katherine is determined to reconcile with her husband Jonathan and repair relations with her daughters Ellie, an artist and Brigitte, an aspiring writer mired in addiction. After Jonathan is censured for the politicization of art in his installation Old World Charm, a brief affair leads to an open marriage with Katharine. But Jonathan's struggle with sobriety and abandoning art for advertising eventually deepens the chasm in their relationship. When unforeseen tragedy strikes, the family must confront the truth that time doesn't always heal as they try to hang onto their former lives, which barely represent the ones they're living now. Flashbacks of the past clarify moments, but they don't provide relief.
Written in hybrid fiction and poetry excerpts, Slow Reveal is a compelling and timely novel tackling the themes of art and how art is shaped and defined by media and influencers, social and political injustice, gender identity, family dynamics, and the parallels between the artistic process and intimacy and trust in relationships.
"Loving is an art in Melanie Mitzner's ambitious debut about a discordant family of eclectic artists whose lives are thrown into question with an unexpected death. Told with compassion and intelligence, this poignant tale of love, longing and addiction provides a vivid look into the lives of talented and troubled creators, each yearning for relevance and lasting connection."
?Christopher DiRaddo, author of The Family Way and The Geography of Pluto
"A joy to read and so hard to say "goodbye" to this cast of characters as I came to the end of Slow Reveal. Mitzner utterly succeeds in telling this intricate story of two women, a poet and a film editor, in which the literary and filmic slow reveal of the title sustains the reader's interest from start to finish. Deeply philosophical and profoundly human, one is drawn into the lives of a multi-generational New York family in which making art, and living a life well-lived, are investigated with heart, intelligence and passion. Slow Reveal is a quiet and urgent page-turner about devotion and intimacy, and what it means to find love and meaning in the process of becoming increasingly true to oneself through the years."
?Carolyn Boll, poet, curator, author of Social Dance, a Book of Ballroom Poetry
"As the former Canadian director of French publisher Albin-Michel, I worked on French translations of some very talented authors, including Guy Vanderhaghe, Dan Chaon and David Treuer. When Melanie Mitzner's Slow Reveal was presented to me, I read with great pleasure the literary work. There was much to admire in her narrative skills and the emotional integrity of her characters. Her novel was so captivating I could not put it down."
?France Desroches, Former Canadian Director, Albin-Michel
"Slow Reveal lovingly combines the powers of the creative drive and bonds of family, original and chosen. I read this in one sitting, way beyond my bedtime. Brava, Melanie Mitzner."
?Floyd Memorial Library Director Lisa Richland (retired)